This book is about the monumental achievements of one of the most open-minded, tolerant, peace-loving theologians, scholars and philanthropists of our time, namely His Eminence Sayyid Hussain Ismàeel al-Sadr. When you read this book, you will find out that this compliment is not merely a courtesy but an under-statement: He deserves much more. A "balancing theory" is discussed throughout this book, one advocating that all humans on our planet are members of one and the same family, that in all reality, if we open our hearts and minds, walls that separate us from each other will crumble, we will then be closer to each other as family members should be, and we shall live a happier and more fulfilled life, the one intended for us by the Creator of life itself.
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The Balancing Theory of Sayyid Hussain Isma'eel Al-Sadr
Ideological and Social Patterns of Tolerance and Peace Seeking In
By Kamel (Mustafa) Alkadumi, Yasin T. al-Jibouri
AuthorHouse LLCCopyright © 2014 Yasin al-Jibouri
All rights reserved.
Civilization and Evenness
Theory of Evenness
Peacemaking in the Evenness Theory
Our Label is Tolerance in Evenness
Concept of Culture in Evenness
CIVILIZATION AND BALANCING
Civilization is a social system that nurtures one's culture. Some see it as a starting point from the place where turmoil and social problems end, so the elements of innovation and building may be launched. And some others say that these elements are: arts, cultural and historic legacy, and the extent of nations' scientific progress in a certain period of history.
Some people have defined it as the inclusion that covers all times and places: traditions, ways of living, crafts, religious and moral values, fields of artistic, literary and scientific innovation ..., and the like.
Civilization, according to such an inclusion, is organized according to four patterns:
1) Economy, 2) Politics, 3) Customs and Traditions, then 3) Scientific and Social Technologies and 4) Experiences
British historian Arnold Toynbee (1934 – 1961) employs his theory about challenge and response in his book titled A Study of History thus: "Civilizations rise only where the environment challenges people, and when people are ready to respond. Civilization collapses when people lose their ability to innovate."
A nation's survival is the first responsibility, as believed by American Henry Kissinger, an expert on foreign affairs: "A nation's survival is its first responsibility. The fact about deeply rooted feuds can be interpreted as threats to the state, making them a top and absolute responsibility; therefore, they require an armed intervention."
This is a political viewpoint which does not employ evenness in its positive aspect because it leads to an armed intervention and to igniting a war even within a nation's borders and among a state's local minorities.
Since the dawn of civilizations and up to our day, many individuals have written about ideology, the old and the new, in an attempt to seek an acceptable fact that sums up the pain of the feud, one that dries the sources of its continuous defiance, a fact that can sum up the time of defiance, penetrating the barrier of closeness and obliterating isolation, a reality believed by everyone who writes and looks up to civilization and modernity. Such are thinkers who have over-exhausted history searching for this reality. But the result is one as they themselves have concluded: They all fled away from the civilization of the reality, or from the reality of civilization, just to start searching anew.
When they found it impossible to sum up the feud and to penetrate it through logical means, the course of their research into civilization from its purely materialistic facet distanced them from the historic characteristics and concepts of meaning in the human nature which plays the major role in moving the elements of history and in the growth of civilization. This paradox made retroversion the lot of hundreds of theories and researches in civilization, in retroverting and fleeing from the stage of the reality. They contended themselves with materialism which after some time collapsed due to the values of its theorizers.
History replays its events, repeating itself, and it is the staunch judge over all theories. At the same time, it is the one that exposes the intentions of those who theorize. It is the one that advocates the hostility of the theory that does not take into account man's contemplative nature. Thus, materialistic theories have inclined to create an atmosphere that over-brims with sedition, destabilizing many international and human conditions, be them in the East, as is the case with the socialist systems, or in the West and the extremism of Western materialism and its violence against humanity, against the poor and the middle classes, against the Easterners who lack the Western technological progress.
Culture has exerted an impact even on international relations, as the conventional criteria for the theory of international relations seemed unsuitable in a world where claims of sovereignty coexist with all complex interpretations of the cultural identity and of the scenarios of domestic independence.
The solutions for the relationship between tolitarianism and privacy, only on the state level, cannot provide a serious analysis for norms of the contemporary political group or for the claims of authority and legitimacy, or for the rise of concepts of the human identity, or for the forming of an economic and a military power in the modern world. When war was declared on terrorism after the September 11, 2001 incidents, it was not against a particular nation or state, and the captives of this war were not real prisoners of a war waged by the Untied States. Forces founded on the bases of identity were established on culture, religion, dynasty and gender. The basic values about land, the economy and violence coin new structures for the human existence. Yet myths about the nation-states still stand.
When there is a recognition required of the preliminary value as being the nation-state, the boisterous groups of the religious racial identity will start imposing their hegemony over provinces, thus establishing nation-states. The first nations are quite numerous. Had each of them achieved its independence, we would have had ten thousand nations.
But the evenness theory sees that: Civilization represents the true actual reality of a time period during which a nation develop in all its resources, material and moral capabilities and sublime values, and the meaning—the values and the conduct—is the basic catalyst for civilizations to rise.
Sayyid Muhammed-Baqir al-Sadr, for example, sees in the present crisis, in which the Islamic lands are wallowing, as one not of technology, or of ill implementation of imported ideologies (capitalism and socialism) because the western model itself is in a killing crisis. So, it cannot be a cosmic model, that is, an end to history: History has no end; rather, it is the end of a specific historic phase: the Western civilizational phase. The Western civilizational model, which is cut off from the unseen, has melted into history, i.e. melted into the repetitive supreme example, becoming a mere justification for the reality and for history's movement in all its negativities and positivities. The crisis, from al-Sadr's viewpoint, is one of the relationship between the model and the human.
Sayyid Hussain Isma'eel al-Sadr totally agrees with his mentor, and he expresses the following opinions:
Had it not been for the human thought and will, there would have been no difference between the society of man and that of the animal because both are prone to the impact of the formative laws. But man's possession of both of these basic elements, in addition to the innate inclinations towards perfection and the other preparatory factors, granted the human society the ability to change and to have ambitions to the extreme limits that can be, even to be ambitious for an eternal life.
This viewpoint we find to conclude with the fragmentation of the structures of the evenness and of the moderation theory in its civilizational plans. These plans are inspired by the moral values and deep dimensions of the ethical logic as well as the organized realistic analysis in the Holy Qur'an, in addition to the ways of the prophets and the experiments of the reformers, those who were the architects of modernity throughout history's modernized stages.
It is a viewpoint that stems from the sublime precepts and ideological presentations of the martyred thinker, Grand ayatollah Sayyid Muhammed-Baqir al-Sadr, may Allah Almighty have mercy on him, representing Islam's theory and its great text as in this verse of the Almighty:
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O mankind! We created you from a single (couple) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know each other (not to despise each other). Truly the most honored of you in God's sight is (he who is) the most righteous among you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (Qur'an, 49:13)
"Evenness" sees that:
The serious challenges in the plurality struggle call for continuing the effort to find the best means for a peaceful coexistence in a pluralistic [society], since it is an imminent matter, and that "Plurality is an imminent issue in the ways of history. It must be dealt with as one of the compositions of human components, and it means a civilizational and cultural openness to understand life."
From this onset, al-Sadr's vision greatly and essentially differs from the Western philosophical visions that look at history as a pure coincident or that it is driven by a determinist naturalist law, that it is history where man has nothing to do with its changes.
This vision is similar to that of the fatalists and naturalists or those who advocate fatalism, i.e. that man is created by determinism where he has neither a will power nor a choice in his movements, including his own making of and impact over the movement of history. It is also the conclusion reached by Karl Marx and the materialists who confined the movement of history to the purely materialistic struggle, hurling it into the crucible of the dialectic argument which ends up at the invevitability of matter, according to their views. With such logic, man will be betrayed; he will perish as he swings between being free, having a self-will and an impact on the movement of history [on the one hand], and [on the other hand] the inevitability that curbs his impact, thus he becomes a feather in the wind, tossing it around endlessly.
Despite the extreme importance awarded by international humanitarian organizations to treating the crisis of the human societies in their pluralistic coexistence, and despite the pinpointing of the huge amount of causes behind crime, extremism and marginalism, they are yet to be able to control the source of the violent feud and to restrict or contain it in a pool. Their attempts, therefore, have remained between study and research plus military operations here and there and decisions which have caused nothing but new compensatory violence and a negative secretion that aggravated the social crack, and this, in turn, needs a new treatment, and so on.
The reality of the human social problems has continued to be complicated, its cost rising in an alarming way. This reality has been witnessed by the Iraqi society which till now is moaning under the weight of those decisions and operations, just as the Afghanistan reality before it had witnessed, and just as the Syrian reality is presently witnessing. The same scene has recurred and is recurring in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and perhaps shortly in the Sudan; it will reach the deepest point in the societies of the East after a while.
"Islam" is an inclusive proper noun which incorporates the religion of the Divine One, a religion that set out of one source with the same contexts that encompass all existence in its formation, style, objective and destiny. It is a religion that was brought about by one hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets and messengers sent by the Almighty, the most Praised and Exalted One, for the purpose of man's happiness and emancipation from serving or being a slave of anyone other than Allah Almighty. All prophets, peace with them, raised the slogan of guidance as they struggled for this same reality, the reality of honoring mankind:
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"We have honored the offspring of Adam ..." (Qur'an, 17:70)
They all defied tyranny and oppression in order to achieve justice, equality and freedom of mankind.
Philosopher Tabatabai says the following as he explains Islam:
"The religion of Allah, the most Praised One, is one, there is no variation in it. Allah did not command His servants except to uphold it. He did not explain, in the books which He revealed to His prophets, anything other than this, nor did He direct the verses [of the Holy Qur'an] except to lead to it. It is Islam which is: surrender to the True One, the right belief, the doing of what is right. In other words, it is surrender to the statement issued by the Divine One with regard to the norms of knowledge and ruling. Even though it may differ in quantity and methodology of the legislative systems of His prophets and messengers, as Allah, the most Praised and Exalted One, tells us in His Glorious Book ..., it is in reality one and the same.
The variation in the legislative systems is only in their degrees of perfection or imperfection without being paradoxical or contradictory of each other."
Goethe, a brilliant German scholar, says the following in his verses of poetry:
One of man's follies in his life
Is that each is fanatical about what he views.
If the meaning of Islam is that we to God surrender,
Matters of our life and death we should then to Islam render.
Scholar Gustave Le Bon says, "Islam did not spread with the sword; rather, it spread by only invitation, and it is only by invitation that the nations that conquered the Arabs lately, such as the Turks and Moguls, embraced it. The Qur'an spread in India where the Muslims were only passersby. And Islam did not spread any less in China of which the Arabs did not conquer a part at all."
In the same sense have men of wisdom spoken, and thinkers of mankind moved to benefit from the springs of this religion so they would continue to spread virtue and the values which pave the path to the upliftment of mankind towards his human perfection, to build a life free of oppression and of injustices and, ultimately, man's choice and freedom would materialize without any coercion: "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" There is no compulsion in religion (Qur'an, 2:256).
Man is free to choose his religion. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah with him and with his Progeny, personified this fact in his life: He did not force anyone to adopt the Islamic creed. In the early days of his migration, the Jews of Banu Qurayzah, the Jews of Banu an-Nadir and the Jews of Banu Qainuqa went to him and said, "Muhammed! What are you preaching?" He said, "I am preaching the testimony that there is no god save Allah, and that I am the Messenger of Allah whose name you find written in the Torah and about whom your scholars told you that I would come out of Mecca and would migrate to this town." They said to him, "We have heard what you have said, and we have come to you seeking a truce provided we would be neither your subjects nor your opponents. We will not assist anyone against you, and you will not stand in our way or in that of any of our fellows until we see the outcome of your affair and that of your people." The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah with him and his Progeny, responded favorably to their request and signed a document to this effect.
A study of the religions and of researches of historians and Orientalists who look for facts regarding religions, including Islam, and also from reciting the biography of Prophet Muhamed [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] by thinkers from various creeds, even from among those who do not follow a creed from among the masters of history, philosophy, ethics, psychology and sociology about Islam's message and the principles of the great Prophet ..., they all seem to have surrendered to the call of the truth and to the voice of the Holy Qur'an which describes the Prophet Muhammed [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] thus: "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" Surely you (stand) on an exalted standard of moral character (Qur'an, 68:4).
British Orientalist and researcher William Montgomery Watt (1909 – 2006) says the following: "The first cause in Muhammed's success is Islam's attractiveness and value as a religious and social system that meets Arabs' religious and social needs. Also, Muhammed's insight, diplomacy and administrative skill played a significant role in his success. Add to this his skill in managing the alliance over which he presided, making everyone, with the exception of a negligible minority, feel that they were well treated ..., increased the difference between the sense of harmony and pleasure in the Islamic nation and the sense of worry in Mecca. Undoubtedly, this had an impact on many people whom it attracted to Muhammed."
British researcher Karen Armstrong records the following in the Introduction to her book Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet: "It is wrong to think that Islam is a religion characterized by violence or fanaticism in its essence as some people say sometimes. Rather, Islam is a global religion, and it does not have any hostile Eastern features, nor is it hostile towards the West."
Violence begets only counter-violence, and wrong cannot be dealt with in a wrong way; ultimately, right is only what is right, as the evenness theory sees.
Excerpted from The Balancing Theory of Sayyid Hussain Isma'eel Al-Sadr by Kamel (Mustafa) Alkadumi, Yasin T. al-Jibouri. Copyright © 2014 Yasin al-Jibouri. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse LLC.
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Table of Contents
PREFACE: Introducing Author Kamel (Mustafa) Alkadumi, 14,
CHAPTER ONE, 28,
CHAPTER TWO, 90,
CHAPTER THREE, 136,
CHAPTER FOUR, 174,
CHAPTER FIVE, 213,
CHAPTER SIX, 232,
CHAPTER SEVEN, 262,
FROM AL-SADR'S PHOTO ALBUM, 331,